Women with diabetes respond to fenofibrate therapy as well as men do

Women with diabetes respond to fenofibrate therapy as well as men do

CTC's collaborative FIELD trial has just found important new evidence on treatment to reduce cardiovascular risk in diabetes, published online in Diabetologia. The study was led by Dr Michael d'Emden from Royal Brisbane Hospital, a member of FIELD's management group in collaboration with CTC's deputy director, Prof Anthony Keech, chair of the international FIELD trial. This new research shows that treatment with fenofibrate reduces cardiovascular complications in women as well as men.

Fenofibrate is a lipid drug, used to lower levels of the blood fats (triglycerides) and small dense LDL or 'bad' cholesterol and increase levels of HDL or 'good' cholesterol. This unhealthy blood fat profile is particularly common in people with type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found that fenofibrate reduced levels of these unhealthy blood fats-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, non-HDL-cholesterol and apolipoprotein B-more in women than in men, independent of menopausal status and whether they also started taking statins or not. They also found that fenofibrate reduced the risk of a cardiovascular outcome (cardiovascular death, fatal and nonfatal stroke or carotid or coronary revascularisation) by 30% in women and 13% in men. Statistically, these rates are similar. In patients with very high triglyceride and low HDL-cholesterol levels, who are at high risk of diabetes complications, fenofibrate reduced the risk of a cardiovascular outcome by 30% in women and 24% in men.

In the FIELD (Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes) trial, 3657 women and 6138 men with type 2 diabetes were assigned a daily fenofibrate (200 mg/day) or placebo tablet for 5 years. Effects on blood fats (lipoproteins), total cardiovascular events and side-effects were analysed for each sex.

The FIELD trial has provided a wealth of information for researchers to discover improved health outcomes for patients; an earlier FIELD publication was also the first to show that fenofibrate significantly reduced rates of diabetes complications such as eye and kidney damage and amputations.

Find the article, here
d'Emden MC, Jenkins AJ, Li L, Zannino D, Mann KP, Best JD, Stuckey BGA, Park K, Saltevo J, Keech AC, on behalf of the FIELD Study Investigators. Favourable effects of fenofibrate on lipids and cardiovascular disease in women with type 2 diabetes: results from the Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) study. Diabetologia. Published online 18 Aug 2014.

For further information about this publication, please contact Dr d'Emden via email

18 August 2014